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For Macallan haters (in its current form)

5 22

Wierdo started a discussion

Must admit to experiencing some schadenfreude when reading this review which rips the p**s out of the pretention of Macallan.

malt-review.com/2019/03/…

2 months ago

22 replies

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo ' . . . whisky making with the passion of visionaries – bold, confident individuals who have positively disrupted the status quo . . . '

Well, that line had me giggling. As his foot notes suggest, that statement couldn't be more back to front if it tried. I guess that's where the surrealism comes in then? Actually, I take it all back - their creative genius knows no bounds smile

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

That may be the greatest whisky review I’ve ever read!

The text on the box is a perfect summation of Macallan more generally: it is dense but insubstantial; it is pompous and self-congratulatory; it gorges itself on an all-you-can-eat buffet of adjectives which have almost nothing to do with the whisky.

Perfect!

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Wierdo I have to think that the reason why you and others get so worked up about Macallan or other distilleries is that you started out with very high and romanticised notions of what they can and should be. Those notions apparently include ideas about the proper ways in which they should communicate about and market their products. I never had such notions about any distilleries, be they Scottish, Irish, American, Canadian, or other. Some whiskies disappoint me, because I don't like to waste my money. The whiskies which work are individual expressions, just as one song from a band is an individual expression from that musical group, different from all other songs from that band. I am particular. I like individual songs and individual whiskies. Only rarely does a band or distillery have a collected body of work of which I am likely to like nearly all of its expressions. For me most distilleries are as inconsistent in their appeal as are most bands. I can count on one hand the distilleries, bands, or historic musical composers, of which I would be likely to like most of their works. So I look at Macallan like I look at all distilleries: some of their stuff I like a lot, some of it I like a little, some of it I do not like. Most of it is in the last few years overpriced for what it is. Do they indulge in a lot of verbal fluff and BS? Yes, but that is the way of the current whisky world in which hyperbole is engaged in order to justify high prices. Do I like that sort of fluff? No, but I am not about to let it disturb my peace of mind.

2 months ago 7Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Wow, what a world-class takedown, the likes of which I haven't seen on the whisky web since All Things Whisky became dormant and stopped providing fodder for "Jeff" in the comments.

There's fun marketing nonsense, such as the stuff we're subjected to from the likes of Bruichladdich and Ardbeg—and maybe even Highland Park if we're being generous. And there's douchey marketing nonsense, like this spew from Macallan. I'll take the former all day every day.

2 months ago 5Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@RianC, yes! I think you got it. The marketing blurb of a status-quo whisky trying to claim the surrealism mantle of bold visionaries who disrupt the status quo makes no sense, which is itself surreal!

It's like the Alanis Morrison song "Ironic," about a bunch of things are not in fact ironic, which is itself ironic!

Genius, my friends. Genius.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Victor - Well said, although I'll have to state, for the record, that it doesn't upset my state of mind but it certainly gives me the giggles relaxed

It's a bit like when my partner tells me about some of the mantras and business speak that becomes en vogue at the global science/tech company she works for: the invented words, over the top positivity etc etc. I don't see the need, personally, and it comes across as job justifying BS in the main but many happily get on board with it and it must serve its purpose or else why do it?

As the article suggests, I don't doubt they will fly off the shelves and into the arms of hungry collectors quicker than, well, than whisky turns to piss grin

2 months ago 4Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@Victor I think to know why I view Macallan with such disdain you'd need to know me. I'm from a brewery town in the UK that is surrounded by former coal mining communities. The people are plain speaking, direct and VERY down to earth. I was taught at an early age to treat any pretentiousness in others with absolute derision. Thats a UK thing generally but even more so where I grew up. Where I come from in the world you play down your achievements not big them up and you sure as hell don't big them up without substance. Then you'll be told you're 'all mouth and no trousers' or you're 'up your own arse' and you need to be 'taken down a peg or two'.

I hate pretension in all things. But if the product justifies such a high self-opinion I'll tolerate it. But in the case of Macallan, the current product in no way shape or form justifies such a high self-opinion. I've tried many of the current expressions. I've been disappointed with them all. They've been at best bog standard whiskies and in most cases sub-par. Absolutely nothing about their offerings to my mind justifies the hype, self aggrandising marketing or high price. As has been said others have silly marketing but generally the whiskies a bit better and often the marketing is at least a bit tounge in cheek. Not utterly, delusionally serious like Macallan.

I can't help but take the p**s out of them.

2 months ago 5Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@MadSingleMalt I enjoy Laphroaig’s silly “all opinions welcome” marketing. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to include people trashing your product in your advert.

2 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Wierdo yes, thank you for sharing. There are a few of us in this club who are decidedly, sometimes vehemently, anti-pretentious. Your cultural description of your background fits well also with the traditional, not nouvelle, audience for bourbon in the USA. Bourbon has always been the working man's drink in the US, particularly in the South. It is very recent that it has threatened to price itself out of the working man's budget here.

A club like this does constantly feel a little bit of the tension between those who like to romanticise whisk(e)y and those who like to de-romanticise whisk(e)y. I consider myself to be firmly in the latter group, but I choose to be as tolerant of the romantics as I can be without being dishonest.

2 months ago 5Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@OdysseusUnbound I don't mind the Ardbeg marketing too much (shooting whisky into space) because it's just a bit Spinal Tap, I see it as being deliberately silly.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Victor I’m a romantic at heart, but I’m also a bit of a “skeptical realist” if you will. Coming to this site was a reality check for me, as I was quite “starry-eyed” about single malt at the time. But being disabused of my romanticism has borne fruit too: I’ve now got a far greater appreciation for bourbon and Canadian whisky than I ever would have developed otherwise.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - I can't resist . . .

I'm also convinced this character was based on my maths teacher at high school

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@OdysseusUnbound - Would that be the 'burnt knickers' one? Ha ha ha!

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RianC There is that one, and one where a Scottish woman says “Ach! No thank ye! I dinnae like tha’!”

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture

@Victor as someone raised in the Southern US, Wild Turkey 101 and Jack Daniels were/are icons of the blue-collar evenings and weekends. And those are still readily available and affordable. The stuff that is skyrocketing in price, my "crew" in rural Alabama never really bothered with in the first place. That stuff was "fancy."

2 months ago 5Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@casualtorture, oh I know! The blue collar US bourbon population still has plenty of good inexpensive choices, despite the general floor of whiskey prices having elevated very significantly, probably 50-80% since 2010, on average. Everyday bourbon drinkers know that almost all of the Bottled In Bond offerings are worthwhile, and most cost in the $ 18 to $ 25 dollar range, still, in the US.

The niceties have become pricey, though. I can't go out and buy 8 bottles of Thomas Handy off of a shelf for about $ 60 each like I did in 2010-2011. Now I am lucky if I can find anybody who will sell me a single bottle at $ 150.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

Those boys are up to their old tricks. Must be April 1st.

about one month ago 0

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - As much as I find this amusing I do have a little sympathy for Macallan here. We seem to live in a word where if a tiny minority complain (especially through social media) they are able to bully people into submission. Still, what's that old adage about no such thing as bad publicity and this didn't cost a bean . . .

The advert was immensely daft and OTT but I can say with some certainty that it did not make me want to chug Macallan down on top of a mountain (or similar prominent position) and launch myself off the top in the hope that I may sprout angel wings

. . . it didn't make me want to buy Macallan at all smile

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@RianC I agree that pretentious and silly as the advert is banning it because it features 'base jumping' is ridiculous.

Did make me smile though.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

Liked by:

@KRB80@paddockjudge@MadSingleMalt@OdysseusUnbound@RianC

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